Thursday 14 December 2017

Thug abusing staff in takeaway left man who intervened with collapsed lung and punched his wife

Cillian McMenamin, from Dungloe, who was jailed for a year for an attack on a couple in a takeaway in Dungloe.
Cillian McMenamin, from Dungloe, who was jailed for a year for an attack on a couple in a takeaway in Dungloe.

Greg Harkin

A CONSCIENTIOUS citizen who stood up for foreign nationals being abused in a takeaway ended up in hospital with severe injuries after being battered by a thug, a court has heard.

Brave Patrick McKelvey suffered a broken rib and a collapsed lung when he stood up to criminal Cillian McMenamin.

Mr McKelvey’s wife Sharon was also punched in the face and thrown to the ground during McMenamin’s vicious attack.

The couple had stopped off for a takeaway at the Midnight Express in Dungloe just after 2.30am on April 14 last year, Letterkenny District Court heard.

McMenamin (24), from Chapel Road in Dungloe, was waiting on food when he began to abuse staff.

“Sharon McKelvey had been working earlier as a karaoke operator at a premises in Dungloe earlier that evening,” Inspector David Kelly told the court.

“She had gone into the takeaway with her husband Patrick when she spotted a man standing by a poker machine wearing a hoodie. He was very drunk.

“This man began to shout abusive comments towards the non-nationals working at the takeaway. He was shouting that he wanted free burgers and made several other abusive comments,” Insp Kelly said.

The inspector said Mr McKelvey intervened, objecting to the foul-mouthed abuse.

McMenamin then ran at Mr McKelvey, punching his wife Sharon in the face and throwing her to the ground.

“I put up my hands and pleaded with him to stop,” said Mrs McKelvey in a statement read to the court.

“He grabbed me by my jacket and threw me out of the way to get at Patrick. I lost my footing because of the force and hit my head on a window. I later realised I was bleeding from my head and mouth.”

She then saw Patrick being dragged outside the takeaway where McMenamin repeatedly kicked his victim on the ground, including in the face, said Inspector Kelly.

“Do you want to hit me now?” McMenamin had shouted.

He tried to kick the couple’s car and then shouted at them: “I’m going to find out who your family is and they’re all dead.”


Gardaí arrived a short time later and arrested Mc-Menamin.

Defence solicitor Frank Dorrian said his client had a “vague and patchy memory” of the events because of his drugs and drink addiction.

Judge Kelly said the McKelveys, who did not want to go to court, had suffered psychological distress since the incident. He imposed two one-year sentences to run concurrently.

McMenamin, who pleaded guilty to two charges of assault, was already in custody serving a sentence for driving without insurance on eight occasions.

The new sentence is to run from this week.

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